Bedtimes & Curfews

January 3, 2011

Back to school just happened.  Ouch.

The kids could not have been more off their sleep schedules than they were this vacation.  (Except for the whispers I’ve heard about their frequent all-nighters when visiting their father.)  Lemon was by far the worse offender.

Our usual conversation during the week off:

Me:  “What time did you go to sleep last night?”

Her:  “uh, 4:30….”

For several days.  WD chose not to wake her on the other side of sleep, and she did wake up as late as 2 p.m.

I remained okay with it, because I remembered my own winter and summer vacations:  My sister and I lived in the basement of our raised ranch house – our parents’ bedroom was upstairs, completely opposite the house.   So Sis and I stayed up until 4 or 5 – usually playing Spit and listening to Cyndi Lauper.  We fought, we made up, we laughed.  We went to bed late, and slept as late as our parents would let us.  They had no idea, so they didn’t harass us.

Lemon’s room is across the hall from ours.  WD is a night owl.  She honestly answers us when we ask what time she went to sleep (not to mention that her Facebook activity time stamps would give it away if she lied …)

So when he found her up at 4 a.m. on the Saturday before the great Return to School, he was a little nervous.  Just worried that she’d sleep all day and not be able to sleep before 4 a.m. on the night before school.  I told him that I wasn’t too concerned – that it was okay for her to go all haywire during vacation.  And then I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t have to eat my “oh, it’ll be FINE” words.

I didn’t have to.  She had plans for Sunday, and so set her alarm and was up by 11 (yes, I’m considering 11 early).  I picked her up from a friend’s house at 6, and she said, “man, I’m so tired, I’m going to bed straight after dinner!”

Didn’t quite work out like that, but she was in bed by 10.  Maybe – just maybe – she freaked herself out a wee bit that it was “too late!” and that she was going to be tired the next day.  Maybe – just maybe – I had to close all her curtains super-tight and then rub her back for 5+ minutes before she could calm down enough to drift off.  But she’s 14.  So it was kind of fun.

Mouse can’t stay up as late as Lemon.  I think she is physically incapable.  But with New Year’s Eve and general vacation hours, she was also pretty far off schedule.  She got grouchy during the day on Sunday, likely in anticipation of the Return to School, and after pitching at fit at WD for [huh, I can’t remember … but it was dumb], she put herself to bed.  At 4 p.m.  She woke up in time for dinner, and still fell asleep at a decent hour.

This morning, Lemon had her usual grumble-face on, and Mouse was in a fine mood.

I, however, really didn’t want to go to work.


In other news, we just found ourselves re-instituting a technology curfew for Lemon.  We had done this over the summer, when we found her chatting on Facebook or otherwise until 2 or 3 a.m.  I even contacted the Ex when she shifted to his house for a few weeks, to let him know of the curfew and beg him to enforce it.  (Oddly, she never once violated it with me, but did multiple times from his house – so said my AT&T Bill and the trust Facebook time stamp.  I told on her.  She was mad at me.)

WD proposed that the curfew be “when we go to bed.”  I was worried that we were asking for daily arguments, because of our (potentially) varied bedtime.  What if I am absolutely exhausted at 9?  What if I have work to do, and don’t go to bed until midnight?  So I counter-proposed 10 p.m. on weeknights, and midnight on weekends.  Then we let her choose.

She picked mine!  She picked mine!

Oddly, WD (the strict one) thought my 10 p.m. proposal was too early, and suggested we keep 10:30 in our back pockets for negotiating when she complained about 10.  But she didn’t bat an eye.

Probably helps that we discussed it on a day that she was exhausted after a packed Winter Vacation.




One comment

  1. Greetings to you…

    I completely relate to the entire episode of getting the kids back on track. I have a few more days to go and started only last night. Around here it is at least a week or so after the mini vacations before we are back into a routine. However, the first week back…everyone including myself…hangs on the grouchy side.

    Best of luck getting it turned around!

    A fellow mom…

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